US Florida Warned Not to Withhold Funds From School Boards as Punishment for Mask Mandates
Michigan Schools With No Mask Mandate Have 61 Percent More COVID Cases
Forty-two percent of school districts in Michigan have mask mandates in places and more than 748,000 students attend schools in districts with mask mandates. " Your browser does not support this video The infection rate is 61 percent higher in school districts without mask requirements. Currently, 42 percent of school districts in Michigan have mask mandates in places and more than 748,000 students attend schools in And 393 K-12 schools in Michigan have reported COVID-19 outbreaks with more than 425 students under the age of 12 being affected by COVID.While U.S.
The U.S. Department of Education is warning Florida officials not to retain funds from school districts with mask mandates.
State officials have been forging ahead for months with a threat to withhold the salaries of school board members in districts that voted in favor of requiring face covering for students and staff, arguing it goes against Governor's executive order banning such mandates.
School Face Mask Mandates Have Been Reintroduced in These States Amid Delta Surge
Several states across the U.S. have prohibited face mask mandates, while the CDC has advised staff and students to wear face coverings in schools.The U.S. has seen COVID hospitalizations more than triple over the past month. It recorded 127,108 news COVID cases on Thursday, which was up from the 112,270 seen in the country on Wednesday. The country has now recorded a seven-day average of at least 100,000 new cases over the last week.
Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced in late August that school board members in Alachua and Broward counties shouldn't expect to get paychecks.
To offset the losses, the U.S. Department of Education stepped in to award Broward County schools $420,957 from its Project SAFE Grant—a program specifically designed to cover any fines or repercussions that schools face because of their mask rules.
Alachua County was given $148,000 in grant money to compensate for the salaries of several members who voted in favor of mask requirements.
After the grants were announced, Florida's Department of Education quickly responded that the state board would continue to exhaust all available legal options to ensure districts comply with the law.
Fact check: Supply chain delays not related to COVID-19 vaccine mandates
Experts say vaccine mandates are not responsible for the current nationwide shipping delays. "The online claim is too strong," John Macdonald, associate professor of supply chain management and logistics at Colorado State University, said in an email. "Drivers from companies I contacted have had no challenges fulfilling their job duties due to vaccination status." USA TODAY reached out to Todd and the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.
"The federal government will not be allowed to circumvent our laws and we will never cede the moral high ground of fighting for the rights of parents to make personal and private health care decisions for their families," said spokesman Jared Ochs.
Earlier this month, Florida officials also issued an order to withhold state funds "in an amount equal to any federal Project SAFE Grand funds, or successor grants" awarded to the school districts.
In a letter sent Monday to Corcoran, the U.S. Department of Education said it's "prepared to initiate enforcement action to stop these impermissible state actions."
"We hope that you reconsider your threatened actions against these districts in response to the Project SAFE awards, so that they may continue to take steps to help ensure safe and healthy environments for their students, families, and educators," wrote Ian Rosenblum, the department's deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs.
COVID Now a 'Major Cause of Death' in Kids But Many Parents Remain Hesitant on Vaccine
The risks of COVID for kids may be higher than previously believed. But many parents are reluctant to get their child vaccinated—even as FDA approval seems imminent.But she won't be first in line if, as expected, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12 early next month. She's not sure if she'll get in line at all.
It wasn't immediately clear what action the federal agency would take. Newsweek reached out to U.S. Department of Education for additional information but didn't receive a response before publication.
Newsweek also contacted the Florida Department of Education for comment on Rosenblum's letter.
Several other districts have implemented mask mandates as children returned to in-person instruction this fall, including Orange, Duval, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Sarasota, Palm Beach, Indian River and Leon counties.
A Florida judge knocked down DeSantis's order barring school mask requirements in August, stating his actions "do not pass constitutional muster" and "seek to deprive the school boards in advance."
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